American Strong

Do you remember learning to walk? Probably not. What about learning to chew or talk? Doubtful. Yet riding a bike seems to carry it's own significant simile: "It's like riding a bike," we say, because we all remember that muscular memory of incorporated balance.  As I have said, little Levi's biggest issue is muscle strength, but more than that, it's now understood as "motor-planing" with regard to his speech. Because Levi waited so late in life to eat by mouth, his oral muscles are probably his weakest ones. In fact, I just read one of my old posts from two years ago where I wrote that Levi struggled to handle his own saliva! Wow. What a great reminder of how far we've come! Now I'm praying for speech instead of saliva. Thankfully we not only love our speech and feeding therapist, but she believes with practice (like walking or chewing) once Levi is stronger, his speech will develop normally. When his (seemingly bright) brain tells his mouth muscles to make a certain sound, sometimes he needs a visual or tactile cue in order to remember how to make a certain syllables. However, some words he can simply say without any help, better yet, some flash cards he can actually read letters on his own accord! Levi is making wonderful steps in speech, and even bigger ones with his feet!
At our orthopedic appointment yesterday, we got approved to discontinue his leg braces at night! Now this is a two month trial to see if he feet turn back or his walk wavers outward. Our doctor said she likes for kids to wear their braces until they are four years-old, but Levi is "A-tyical" with regard to his clubbed feet. It wasn't a bone issue, but rather a "packaging issue." Even though his feet look great, she said there's a chance he'll either need to wear them again, or have a new kind of brace on his right leg only. That was the side he couldn't move in utero, so it's always been a little tighter. Either way, we are so thankful Levi is able to sleep with a "big boy blanket" for the next two months!

Please pray that he continues to gain weight and walk correctly for the next two months. Then we'll have big appointments in September with all our docs to see how we move forward this fall!

We had a great fourth of July doing "normal" American Independence things, which is a huge praise on our Homefront from years passed! God bless America, and God bless you all! Here's some good-ole American fun for you to enjoy...

~4th Busters